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Henrik Lundqvist, Chris Drury lift Rangers to 3-2 shootout win

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NEW YORK - Henrik Lundqvist stopped all five shots in the shootout and Chris Drury scored the only goal in the tiebreaker to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Drury beat Cam Ward with a deke to his backhand, and Lundqvist stopped Justin Williams to give New York its third win in seven games - all post-regulation victories. Lundqvist pumped his arm and smacked the left post in celebration.

Lundqvist looked much better one night after allowing eight goals in a roller-coaster loss at New Jersey on Friday, and made 29 saves in his NHL-leading 17th win.

Markus Naslund and Blair Betts scored first-period goals for the Rangers, and Tuomo Ruutu and Ray Whitney responded for the Hurricanes in a matchup of teams coming off wild losses.

Ward got back into the Carolina net for the first time in five games following a groin injury and stopped 27 shots. Ward saw his first action since Paul Maurice took over for fired Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette.

The Hurricanes had a prime chance to break the 2-2 deadlock in the third when a high-sticking double minor to Chris Drury and an interference call on Scott Gomez gave Carolina a two-man advantage for two minutes. They didn't convert then or on another power play later in the third.

The Rangers took a pair of one-goal leads but couldn't hold either.

Naslund, likely inspired by the presence of Swedish countryman Mats Sundin, played a strong first period and made it 1-0 with a rare power-play goal at 7:27.

Scott Gomez passed the puck out front to Naslund, who beat Cam Ward high for his 12th goal. The Rangers' power play had connected only once in 29 opportunities over seven games - including an 0-for-9 whitewash at New Jersey on Friday that also produced two short-handed goals for the Devils.

Before the goal could be announced, Ruutu tied it.

During a delayed penalty, Eric Staal set up a shot by defenceman Tim Gleason, and Ruutu put in the rebound at 7:49 - just 22 seconds after Naslund scored.

It was a familiar scene for the Rangers, who stormed back from a 5-1 deficit on Friday to tie it in the third period, yet let the Devils go back in front 11 seconds later in the 8-5 loss.

Carolina still smarted from its previous game when Philadelphia scored four times in the third Thursday to get even at 5 before winning in a shootout.

Betts put away a scoring chance after being denied on two opportunities to make it 2-1.

Carolina captain Rod Brind'Amour turned over the puck in the Rangers zone, and Paul Mara chipped it out to Fredrik Sjostrom. Sjostrom sent a cross-ice pass to Betts, who put in his fourth goal - twice as many as last season.

It was the third short-handed goal scored by the Rangers, who have allowed an NHL-worst 10.

The Hurricanes tied it in the second after failing on three straight power plays in the first that included another 5-on-3 advantage. Whitney scored to stretch his point streak to five games (3 goals, 3 assists).

Sundin, a highly coveted free agent, was at Madison Square Garden as part of a promotion for a Poker website. He hasn't decided whether he will continue playing, but was expected to meet with Rangers officials during the weekend.

Notes: Gleason was activated from the injured list after he missed eight games due to a leg injury. D Casey Borer was reassigned to Albany (AHL). ... After going 12 games without allowing more than two goals, Lundqvist gave up at least three in six of his previous nine outings. ... The Rangers haven't won in regulation since beating Phoenix on Nov. 24. ... Carolina is 1-1-3 under Maurice.

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